PERRYSBURG - Fall officially begins this weekend, but that doesn't mean all the fun and whimsy must suddenly be drained out of our lives.
Renee Morelock of Starcrest Road has a smile-inducing suggestion for a hearty main dish with a giddy little punch line.
The dish is her favorite pot roast and the punch line is her secret ingredient: Coca-Cola!
"You combine fat-free cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup, season salt, and a can of either diet cola or Pepsi, and it kinda forms a gravy," Morelock expained.
Sounds kind of funny, but the taste is full, mildly caramel, and a perfect counterpoint to the meat and vegetables.
It's been a family favorite for years.
Her cousin, Perrysburg Township resident Jodee Hess, "had gone to a home and garden party years ago and they were talking about ways you could use different pots" that were for sale, and the recipe for "Coke roast" was distributed.
Hess passed it along to Morelock, who made it her own.
"My daughter also makes it, but in the family I'm usually the one who does it.
"If someone is in the hospital that's something I make for them. I had an uncle and aunt who were both in the hospital at the same time and when they came home I brought some of that over, and they both said that it was the best pot roast they had ever had."
What Morelock likes best about Coke roast is that it is both low-fat and low-calorie, but you can't tell it from the flavor.
It's also simple and very quick to prepare, as long as sufficient baking time is allotted.
She's prepared it for family gatherings and neighbors alike.
"It's almost like a comfort food."
Her own family consists of her husband of 40 years, their two daughters, and grandchildren ages 12 and 20, both of whom are big fans of Coke roast.
A local native and Rossford High School graduate, Morelock attended Davis College and worked 23 years at Harborside Health Care nursing home.
At Harborside she taught cooking classes to the residents as part of the activities group.
"And too, they taught me different things they would make.
"We made egg rolls, different types of stews; there was a lady there who used to own the Budapest Restaurant (in Toledo) and she taught how to make chicken paprikash."
Another favorite recipe was a carrot cake that used strained baby food carrots so the residents wouldn't have to peel the carrots.
Other area residents are familiar with Morelock's cooking credentials from the fact that she and her brother used to do lots of cooking for the Masonic group in Perrysburg.
"And different little parties we did" including the graduation party food for the daughter of a nurse co-worker of hers.
"My niece tells me I'm the Rachael Ray of the family," Morelock admitted. Her personal favorites include soups and regular dinners, as opposed to fancy stuff.
"My brother told me the other day that he's ready for some cream of cauliflower soup, since it's cooler."
For those tempted to try her Coke roast, Morelock said it can be done in the oven "or, if there's no time, I do it in the microwave and then add (the) carrots and potatoes.
"I usually cook apple crisp and cole slaw with this dinner."
Not a fan of red meat?
"You can also use this (recipe) with chicken, only you use root beer and tomato juice" instead of the cream of mushroom soup and cola "and it makes like a barbecue sauce. In fact, when my husband and I first got married that's how we made our chicken."
1 3-lb. chuck roast
1/2 of a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke
4 (10 3/4 oz.-size) cans of 98-percent fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope of dry onion soup
1 tsp. garlic powder
Place roast in a large Dutch oven pan or large roaster. Add dry soup mix and garlic powder over roast. Add cream of mushroom soup over roast. Next, add Coke over soup and roast.
Cook at 350 degrees F. for 2 1/2 hours. Add potatoes and carrots and cook for additional 1 1/2 hours.
The soda pop and soup will make a delicious gravy. Add fresh mushrooms at end of cooking time, if desired.
» No Comments
There are no comments up to now.
» Post Comment
Only registered users can write a comment.
Please login or register.